ADDRESS IN MEMORY OF RICHARD HENRY LEWIS By- Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire ADDRESS OF THE RIGHT REVEREND JOSEPH BLOUNT CHESHIRE BISHOP OF NORTH ''CAROLINA ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEDI- CATION OF THE MEMORIAL VESTIBULE IN CHRIST CHURCH, RALEIGH, TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF RICHARD HENRY LEWIS ON DECEMBER EIGHTEENTH, 1927 Digitized by tlie Internet Archive in 2014 littps://archive.org/details/addressofrightreOOches Richard Henry Lewis 1850- 1925 Let your moderation he known unto all men, the Lord is at hand! Philippians iv:5. The exhortation of the Text is to moderation: "Let your moderation be known unto all men." It is en- forced by the Advent warning: "The Lord is at hand!" 1. The word here given as "moderation" is variously rendered. The Revised Version gives "forbearance." "Let your forbearance be known unto all men." In other places, (I Tim. iii — patient; Titus iii:2; James iii:17: I Peter ii:18 — gentle) our authorized Version uses other words to translate the word here rendered "moderation." Yet the phrase in the text is not an unapt rendering of the Apostle's meaning. In all these varieties of expression the same idea is evident. They all imply a degree of constraint voluntarily im- posed upon ourselves, whereby we become mild, com- pliant, adaptive, so to speak, to the persons or the cir- cumstances of our environment. There is implied an element of self-restraint with reference to the obliga- tions of duty, and also a kindly compliance with the feelings and the interests of others. It is the triumph of love over self. It is that subjugation of temper, that restraint of passion, that consideration for the feelings  and rights of others, that gentleness in the whole char- acter and courtesy in the whole deportment, which, when habitual and spontaneous, speaks the conquest over self and the presence of God's goodness in our heart. 2. This quality, which St. Paul here has in mind, is the perfection of Christian Character from one point of view. This happy discipline of the heart, this sub- jecting of ourselves to the law of love, this moderation, forbearance, gentleness, is the perfecting in us of the work of grace. All good in us comes out of this root of self -conquest, self-conquest in the light of our rela- tions to God and to man. Christianity exalts man to the highest state possible to any created being. It exhibits him as made in the image of God, inspired by the Spirit of God, endued with immortality, and dignified with moral freedom. But it shows him as possessing all these wonderful gifts and privileges, in order that he may increase the glory of God, by submitting them all to Him, and choosing to make himself a mirror for the reflection of the divine perfections. Having the power to depart from his heavenly Father, to forget his true nature, and to follow the proud suggestions of petulant and selfish impulses, he voluntarily chooses the path of submission, of obedience, of humility, of love; because he perceives in these that true harmony of nature, whereby renouncing self he finds his true self in the bosom of his Father. 3. This moderation must be "known unto all men!" This does not mean that we should seek to display our virtues; nor does it mean that we should too much re-  gard the judgments of men. The inspiration of the Christian has a deeper source, one not disturbed by fleeting human conditions. But the text shows us that our hfe is not an isolated hfe, even in this evil world; nor is it independent in its issues of those with whom we are associated. The Christian Hfe has its source and origin in God, but its issues are in all varieties of human experience. And it must prove itself and give the final evidence of its reality, in the character which we develop in our intercourse with men. The Christian must not only subdue his will to the obedience of God, submit himself to the divine authority, but he must be known among men by his moderation, his forbearance, his gentleness, his compliance with the ignorance, the weakness, the failings of his brothers: so long as such compliance does not encourage them in their evil ways, and especially as this noble humility in him may be made the means of helping them, and furthering love and confidence and peace among men. This seemingly simple duty of moderation is a real test of character, a severer test than at first it might seem. It is not easy to attain to this self-control and steady poise, which shall stand the test of daily life in our intercourse with all men. Yet all its value lies in its reality. Mere external gentleness and compliance may proceed from weakness, from indifference, or from softness of moral fiber, from having no very strong principles or convictions ourselves, no masterful quali- ties of character or powerful impulses or motives, im- pelling us to act a masterful and influential part in life : weak and feeble ourselves and therefore compliant, be-  cause weak. The moderation spoken of by St. Paul is the self-conquest of a strong and earnest nature, which sees the truth and which for itself seeks and pur- sues the noblest ends by the best means, and from the highest motives rejects the base and the evil; yet does not thereby become proud and hard and intolerant; but is gentle, forbearing, charitable towards all, wilHng to see good in all, even in the worst, so that the little good may be helped in its effort to overcome the evil, and to bring all to its own goodness. So far is the ex- planation of the text. We have just joined in a very brief and simple serv- ice, commemorating a noble life, which for forty years was associated with this Parish, its Senior Warden for almost all those years; and, I make bold to say, the dominant influence in the life of this congregation. Your Rector has asked me to say something of him in connection with this service. In thinking over the appointed services for this particular Sunday, the Fourth Sunday in Advent, the words of the text, being part of the Epistle for the day, occurred to my mind, as being peculiarly illustrated in the life of him whom we have now in mind. Dr. Richard Henry Lewis ; and then I recalled an exposition of the text in a sermon written thirty-nine years ago. And I have copied the foregoing exposition out of that old sermon. Therein, it seems to me, I have given you his character in its cen- tral and dominating quality. He had that noble, evan- gelical Moderation which I have been endeavoring to set before you as, in a manner, the test and the consum-  mate flower of Christian character, looked at from one point of view. As I deduced that character from the words of the Apostle — so he set forth that character, modestly, unconsciously, but distinctly, in his simple, unaffected, earnest Christian life. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. But sometimes, as now, the abundance of the heart seems to make adequate speech difficult. If in speaking of him I speak somewhat also of myself, you must par- don me. We were very near to each other for much the greater part of our lives. I may almost use Mil- ton's beautiful figures in speaking of a dear departed friend of his youth: " 'For we were nursed upon the self -same hill. Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill. Together both, ere the high lawns appeared Under the opening eyelids of the morn. We drove afield.' " We were born within a few weeks of each other : our parents were friends: our personal intimacy began in our eighth year: and endured without the shadow of a shade between us while life lasted. At Sunday school and day-school we were classmates. He was always the better scholar, though I think he was hardly conscious of it. There were no ups and downs in his progress. He was always the same — always uncon- sciously the ablest and the best. This one and that one, at times, might seem to surpass him. It gave him no concern. He had no craving to surpass others; so far as I could judge, less than any man of real ability  whom I have ever known. Yet somehow it seemed just in the order of things that he should always be the best. It was so from his boyhood. He did not choose his friends among the most eminent of his associates. He was free with his friendship to the plainest and most inconspicuous; but the most eminent recognized him for what he was, and desired and enjoyed his com- panionship. So far as I could observe, he never showed any desire for position, to be first, to lead, to dominate. By a sort of moral and intellectual gravitation, his place was at the top, when the elements in any human aggre- gation, of which he was a member, found their relative positions. I believe he had no more intimate friend at any period of his life than I was ; and so far as I can recall, I never knew him to want any honor for him- self ; and though one of the most honored and admired, and by universal consent, one of the most useful citi- zens of the State, called to many positions of honor in his profession, and of important civic labor and re- sponsibility, I believe he never in his life held any re- munerative position or office. But let us come a little nearer home. I will venture to say a word as to his religious character and senti- ments. And in doing so, I shall feel bound to respect the fine humility and reserve which was part of him, as of all strong and reverent natures. Nothing was more foreign to his feelings than the cheap and shallow display of religious sentiments. He grew up in the Church of his fathers, under the care of a noble, godly mother, his father, a man of high  character and ability, having died before he was seven years old. His life was always clean, upright, upon the highest level of social and moral excellence, and in habitual attendance upon the worship of the Church. But it was not until his first great sorrow and bereave- ment that he felt the inward power and reality of the Christian Faith in which he had been brought up. Then indeed it became to him by an inward experience the truth and the power of God. Up to that time, he had led an exemplary life in all outward aspects: from this time he realized deeply his individual responsibility — not only for his personal life, but for the work of God and of God's Church. At once his value was recognized, and he was called into the service of Parish and of Diocese, a service which he never refused. His name appears at almost every Convention of the Diocese until his last illness brought final disability. Soon after accepting an election on the Vestry, he was made Senior Warden, and continued such to the end. And having become the highest lay-ofiicial in the Parish he made his influence felt at once. This Parish had inherited a system of ownership of pews — which, however it may have been thought advantageous in 1846, was a crushing burden in 1886. This was gen- erally felt to be so, but it seemed a hopeless task to at- tempt its abolition. But Dr. Lewis saw that it was a hindrance to the Church, and he set about to remedy it. That the pews of this church are now free is entirely due to his courage and tact, and to the wise and kind  "moderation" by which he effected that necessary revo- lution in the parish life. But I cannot pursue the subject. You know what a great development has been experienced in this Parish during the last twenty years. Much of it must be credited to the zeal and ability of your present Rector. He will be the first to say how his Senior Warden was his strong right hand in what he has accomplished ; and I think he will agree with me when I say that his work could not have been what it has been, but for the funda- mental reform effected by the exertions of his Senior Warden before he came into the Parish. As he thus left the strong impress of his life upon the Parish, so in some degree did he in all departments of church work within his sphere. In any great and important work undertaken by the Diocese his name was one of the first depended on for loyal support and wise direction. By his loving sympathy, and by pru- dent and sagacious counsel, he aided and sustained his Bishop. During all the later years of his life he stood pre-eminent among the devoted laymen of the Diocese. His generous heart and liberal hand were fully known only to those who were unavoidably associated with the objects of his bounty. He was one of the not too nu- merous class who give systematically in proportion to their means. He was eminently in his time a man of science. He was not a servant of science, nor a devotee of science, nor a dupe of science. He was a man of science. He was master of what he knew. With [ 12] him man was before science. He saw with his clear intellect that science, which is the eccact knowl- edge of things as they are, can tell us nothing of what was before, or of what shall come after this pres- ent material order. It can know no more of spiritual things than a blind man knows of color — indeed not so much. And he knew that there are vast tracts of hu- man thought and experience, sources of power and of inspiration, which science cannot explore. Man's deepest feelings, and highest aspirations, and noblest achievements in life, have been associated with motives, and sustained by a faith, which escape the keenest analysis of science. No material universe with all its wonder and beauty and power can satisfy the spirit, the heart, and the conscience of man. He knew all this. His mind was great enough and strong enough to realize its own limitations. In Christ our Master he found that which met his need, and gave him peace, confidence, the assurance of hope. He was singularly indifferent to theological notions and refinements. But he accepted Christ as his Lord and Master, and he gave to Him his firm and unswerving allegiance. That was his habitual attitude of mind and of heart. On that he stood! It was a happy thought that has made his memorial the entrance to the church, which he loved so well and served so long. Of unblemished integrity himself, and with a high and strict sense of truth and duty, he was most charitable in his judgments and wide in his sym- pathy. He saw the image of his Master in all his brethren. There was nothing repulsive or forbidding [ 13] ' lis'/; C (M L! -1.. ■•-^' .'.1 -i^.J- - , ! , V I, ra..L iv V . 1 I I , N f , in his religion. Rather, it attracted and invited men to be like him. Nothing would have been more pleasing to him than to know that we should make his memorial the Vestibule of Christ Church, with its open door, saying to all that pass by, "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." It was he who had made this church free to all: who then, but he, should have the honor of inviting all into the church which he made free for them?  THE MICHie COMPANY, PRINTERS CHARLOTTESVILLE. VA.